Here We Go Again

  1. So far this year, I’ve been cooking A LOT. I go through phases with cooking, so I’m not declaring any sort of major habit change here, but I’m kinda hoping it is a major habit change because it’s been very fulfilling to do all this cooking. Firstly, I’m a good home cook, you guys. Secondly, Andy is so grateful when he comes home and dinner is taken care of. Thirdly, I get a box of beautiful beef, lamb and pork every month and it’s super foolish to not be using that meat. Actually, I put my monthly box on hiatus and made myself go through my meat collection in the freezer before I got another box. That was actually a really good thing for me to do. Now I’m just trying to stay on top of it.
  2. My walking habit has really taken a hit with the dark season. I simply do not enjoy walking in the dark. The problem is that I want to walk first thing in the morning- first thing for us is 6 am. 6 am means it’s dark as night. Even though I don’t like walking in the dark, the walk is still working it’s magic and I feel great afterwards, but during it’s thumbs down emoji. I know the obvious thing is to change my schedule, but you guys- I think I just have to get through the dark season. I’ve thought about other options and they mean sacrificing something that I don’t want to sacrifice. I will admit that when I’m walking in the dark, I do feel superior to everyone to who isn’t walking in the dark and that superior feeling does light the way a little bit.
  3. One of my goals for this year is to read 12 books. If I’m gonna reach that goal, I need to get cracking because I’ve just barely started my book for January. I used to read so much, but it stopped being a priority and now I do other things like cook and look at Instagram and go for walks and what not. Anyway, 1 book a month seems doable.



Hairy Eyelid

One. This stupid cold is stupid. I’m mostly better, but my sinuses feel so irritated. I don’t mean just my nostrils, I mean the cavern behind them. It feels like they’ve been scrubbed with a wire brush. Ugh, it’s awful. I am still feeling very sorry for myself, I’m whining a lot and whenever Andy looks at me I am sure to have a very pathetic look on my face. Tonight I’m going to sleep with the humidifier right in my face, hopefully that will help.

Two. Andy had a birthday at the beginning of the month and I had the idea to take him on a weekend getaway to celebrate. He saw my computer opened to the website of the Ritz Carlton in Half Moon Bay (we have lots of Marriott points from Andy traveling for work and Marriott owns Ritz Carlton) and he said, “Oh, you know it’s just a few more hundred points for us to go to Maui.” And I said, “that’s great except we never go to Maui and Maui isn’t a weekend getaway.” 20 minutes later Andy was using our points to get us flights and a 5 day stay at the Kapalua Bay Ritz Carlton. Flight and hotel stay paid for with points! We leave next Friday. This is a very typical thing with Andy. Several months ago we were discussing an issue we have with our entry way rug. That conversation turned into how we’ll need to move out of our house when we redo the kitchen because it only makes sense to have a bunch of other work (redoing the electrical, repiping the house and doing the bathrooms) at the same time. One time I wanted a new boombox, we got a fancy stereo system. Another time, we were going to buy a new car for me and that turned into picking the car up at the plant and driving home across the country. You see how it goes. The point is, we’re going to Maui for 5 days.

Three. Listen, remember how I was growing out my eyebrows? I had to pluck. I AM SORRY, but I have some hairs that grow kinda far down on my eyelid and those guys had to go. I did not pluck as much as I would normally. I haven’t given up on cultivating the full, feathered brow, I’ve just given up on the hairy eyelid. You’re welcome for that visual, by the way.

Earthquake Weather

First. Our weather is weird (cloudy, muggy, no breeze) and Californians love to describe this weather as “earthquake weather.” Interestingly, I have experienced a lot of earthquakes some of them quite big, and they all happened during lovely and or normal weather for the season.

Second. I’m certain that I’ve written about this through the years, but I’ma do it again. I sucked my fingers (the two middle fingers on my right hand) from the time I was a baby until I was an older teenager. I don’t remember exactly how old I was when I quit, but 16 or 17 seems about right. I remember attempting to suck my fingers when I was 20, but my fingers no longer conformed to the inside of my mouth and it wasn’t as soothing as I needed it to be. There were a lot of attempts to get me to quit sucking my fingers through the years. Thankfully, no one ever went the punishment route, but there was shaming and a ton of bribery attempts. I would half-heartedly try to quit, but at night in my bed, trying to go to sleep there was nothing more soothing than sucking my fingers and rubbing my hair against my face. I very clearly remember there being a point when I was around 8 where I no longer cared what people thought about me sucking my fingers. There was no shame in my game. My mom says that I never sucked in public, even as a small child. I think that’s because it was a sleepy or quiet time thing for me. When I started spending the night at friends’ houses or they spent the night at my house, I would just tell them that I sucked my fingers. I have no idea what my friends thought about this because we never discussed it and to the best of my knowledge, they didn’t tell other people. I was never made fun of it to my face, at least. I know that I’m an extreme case, most kids stop sucking much earlier than I did- or at least they SAY they quit sucking earlier than I did- but I wonder why more parents don’t just let it go and let the kid figure it out for themselves?

Third. I’ve had a very mild cold this week and I’m finally much better today. I’m so glad because I can take a pseudoephedrine based decongestant for exactly three days before it starts to mess with my body in unpleasant ways. My method of being sick is to feel very sorry for myself, to complain a lot and to moan. I also am careful with that I eat and I and get lots of rest. I do not “rally.” Rallying is for people who love taking a 4 day cold and turning it into a 10 day cold. If I’m sick, I AM SICK and I take care of myself. If you follow my method for caring for yourself, you will not be sorry. You will also heal up from all minor illnesses and injuries 82% faster than those suckers who are super proud of themselves for being “stoic” and “pushing through”. I laugh in the face of stoicism. HAHA, see?

Happy Birthday, Andy!

First thing. Ever since that iOS update where Apple put a specific app on my phone for podcasts, I’ve been regularly listening to podcasts. I don’t want you to think that I’m some sort of uncool person who didn’t know about podcasts before that, I knew about them YEARS AGO, so get over yourself. I even listened to them, just not regularly. Anyways, now I’m listening regularly and I’m going to tell you about my favorites.

Death Sex Money with Anna Sale. This is my absolute favorite and I’m so excited whenever there’s a new episode because I know I’m going to enjoy it.

The Longest Shortest Time with Hillary Frank. This podcast is about parenting and primarily about parenting infants and toddlers. Even though I am not a parent, I still find it extremely interesting. Not every single episode resonates with me, but the vast majority, do.

99% Invisible with Roman Mars. These are tiny episodes, usually between 12 and 20 minutes and they are so good. It’s stories about stuff that you probably didn’t know about, but will absolutely find interesting.

Freakonomics with Stephen Dubner. This one is almost always entertaining and thought provoking.

Happier with Gretchen Rubin. This podcast is al about little things we can do to improve our satisfaction with life.

I listen to more podcasts than what’s on this list, but the above are my favorites. It’s worth noting that if you’re new to podcasts, it’s good to listen while you’re doing something else. I like to listen when I put on makeup, get ready for bed (99% Invisible is perfect for this because they’re so short) do my household chores or work on a craft project. I find just sitting down to listen kind of boring and I almost always fall asleep, which is rarely what I want.

Second thing. Today’s tea party was a great success! The kids enjoyed all the food. That doesn’t happen every single tea party. It’s hard to plan the food because there’s really no telling what the current group of kids will enjoy. Bologna sandwiches with American cheese and mayo are a staple that are always a kit. Turkey sandwiches have always bombed. Ham is hit or miss. Pimento cheese is also hit or miss. Actually, the hardest thing is to get the kids to just TRY something. They almost always like the food after they try it, but the put their noses in the air about anything that looks even slightly unfamiliar. Anyway, this time it was a great success and I’m always glad for that.

Third thing. Today is Andy’s birthday! Yay for Andy! He’s a really great man and I really like him a lot. We’re going out to dinner at Orchard City Kitchen. We’ve never been there before and we’re looking forward to the experience. If Andy didn’t have a cold sore, I would tell you that he was absolutely going to get lucky tonight because I know for sure that his date is super easy, but he does have a cold sore, so no dice. Even super easy dates have their boundaries, people.

15 Second Hugs

  1. I’ve been very busy learning the lyrics to Taylor Swift’s 1989 album. I know I am super late to this party, but at least I showed up. One of the many things I enjoy about my new car is the stereo, it’s by far the nicest stereo I’ve ever had in any car. Including the boom box that used to sit next to me when I drove the 1977 yellow Toyota pickup truck lovingly nicknamed, The Yellow Enchilada. One of my favorite things to do is to blast the stereo and scream, I mean sing, along to whatever I’m playing. Lately it’s been Taylor Swift, but when I run my usual Friday errands it’s the following 5 songs: 1. Empire State of Mind 2. Come Pick Me Up 3. Could It Be I’m Falling In Love 4. Rolling In The Deep by Aretha Franklin 5. It’s Not Right, But It’s Okay

2. On June 18th, Andy and I will have lived together for TWENTY-FIVE YEARS. As with plenty of relationships, we were extremely affectionate in the beginning. We were even cocky about how affectionate we were and when we noticed other couples who were less affectionate, we pittied them and their lack of affection. We said we would never become one of those couples who didn’t hold hands and sit close and cuddle, etc. Then we lived together for twenty-five years and you may have guessed that things changed. We definitely do not hold hands very often because it’s just not always comfortable or convenient and sometimes whole days can pass where we barely touch each other. I wasn’t exactly bothered by these changes, because I think it’s a very normal thing to happen over many years, but I did think it would be good for our marriage if we made the effort to be more affectionate. I decided to do a little experiment. I made sure that we hugged for 15 seconds, two times a day. I wondered if it would change our moods, how patient we were with each other and if it would make us even more affectionate with each other. I started this 2 weeks ago and immediately I noticed a difference. Those hugs definitely meant we were making the effort to touch more frequently. Within a few days, we were lingering over conversations with each other and making more jokes. By the end of the first week, we were absolutely more patient with each other and both of us were making the point to say how appreciative we were of the other one. Mid-way through week 2, we spontaneously hugged more often and both of us were doing more small, nice things for each other. I’m not surprised by these results of my experiment, but I am pleased by them.

  1. Tomorrow is the 5th grade tea party in my mom’s classroom. I haven’t been in the classroom since February! That’s my longest absence since Murray was a brand new baby puppy. My mom is probably going to retire next year, so I’m preparing myself for next school year being a year of “lasts.” I’m really excited for my mom, but I will miss going to her classroom.

New Eyebrows

  1. Through following a series of links on Instagram, I found Kristie Streicher. She believes in a full, natural feathered brow. I absolutely adore this look, but my brows are very sparse and pale. As per her instructions to her clients, I’ve decided to let my brows grow for at least 8 weeks and see what happens. When I first decided to do this, I knew it would be difficult to not tweeze for 8 weeks, but oh boy, it’s so much harder than I anticipated. I’m sticking with this, though because I have a feeling that I’ll end up with brows I’m much happier with than my current ones. Just for the record- I “draw” on my eyebrows every day.  I’ve been doing this for at least 10 years and while I think I do a fairly good job, I do not love how perfectly sculpted they look. I’ve attempted to draw a more natural looking brow, but it’s a lot of work! The perfect looking brow is much easier.

  2. We spent Memorial Day weekend with our nephew and it was so nice. It’s been entirely too long since we had that kid over. His sister was very good about inviting herself for a visit and I think I had gotten so used to her just asking to come to our place that I forgot that our nephew doesn’t work that way. Now that I’m on the right track, I hope to have him over more often because it was a really good time! The Nephew is super into trying new foods and he’s not particularly fussy about what he eats, so we had a full weekend of great food. First we went to the 4th annual Taco Festival of Innovation. It’s a gathering of fancy food trucks who don’t usually do tacos, doing tacos. The vibe at this festival is super laid back and we figured that we’ve got 2-3 more years until it’s completely ruined by too many people. Sunday morning we went to dim sum. Our favorite place is extremely popular and the wait can be hilariously long. We got lucky and only had to wait about 15 minutes. It was The Nephew’s first time having dim sum and he really enjoyed it! Andy decided to give The Nephew a cooking lesson. Andy taught him to make coleslaw (a nephew favorite) and grilled steak. Our dinner that nigh was great!

  3. I’m a big fan of the subscription box. We get Murray the Bark Box, and I subscribe to Beauty Tube, PopSugar Must Haves and Nature Box. The Bark Box is a huge success. Without exception, Murray loves every single toy he gets from them, The treats are hit or miss, but that’s okay. I make a really big deal out of opening the box and Murray gets very excited and the whole thing is hilarious and so much fun. The Beauty Tube is, as you might imagine, beauty products. You get a lot of stuff in each box and it’s a good mix of drugstore and high end products. Of course I’m not interested in EVERYTHING I get sent, but it’s fun to keep the stuff and let my friends and family go through it and see if there’s anything they’re interested in. I like enough of the products they send to keep up with the subscription. I’ve only gotten one PopSugar Must Haves box and I was extremely impressed with it. They do a mixture of beauty, food, lifestyle and home goods. I’m excited to get more boxes and see what goodies those contain. My first box had some delicious taffy, a beach towel, a very cute necklace, an adorable little vase, dry shampoo, and shave balm. Nature Box is snacks. They focus on “healthy” snacks. I put healthy in quotes because there are an awful lot of cookies and dried fruit and nuts to choose from and I think they healthiness of those items is somewhat dubious. That said, I do think the products are tasty and high quality and you can choose to either be surprised by what you get or choose your own snacks. The thing I’m most excited about from them are their little cups of oatmeal. I’d mostly given up on oatmeal because it spikes my blood sugar and leaves me feeling sick. I decided to give these little cups try because they carbs were relatively low and I figured if they didn’t work out for me, Andy could take the remaining cups to work. It turns out that these little cups are a great snack for me and I enjoy them so much!

Salt Toothpaste

Listen, you knew when you married me that I loved the hell out of a numbered list blog post. Let’s keep this 3 Things going! Just for fun!

1. Our new sofa gets delivered tomorrow. We’re going to do more to refresh our living room, but for right now it’s a new sofa and some new pillows for the sofa. I’m so excited!

  1. When Andy bought his car a few years ago, he got super into fancy car washing stuff. There are so many emollients, potions and let’s not get started on the various types microfiber clothes he’s got! I’ve asked him to put together a mini car wash kit for me. We had this treatment done to my car so that to keep it looking great, I just need to run through a gas station car was that’s touchless. I really love that I am supposed to wash my fancy car at a gas station, it costs me something like 7 bucks! Come on! With this little kit, I can vacuum my car (at the gas station) and then make my car super clean on the inside. I am ridiculously excited about this little car washing kit. IT’S LIKE A MAKEUP KIT, BUT FOR MY CAR!

  2. I bought this salt toothpaste from Weleda the other day and I was super exited to try this natural, blah, blah toothpaste. HAHAHAHAHA. It’s literally the worst tasting thing I’ve ever put in my mouth. I mean, firstly, it’s brown. That’s not a great start for toothpaste. Secondly, it smells pretty bad. It smells like something your old country grandma would drink as some manner of tonic. Thirdly, as I mentioned, it tastes horrible. I tried really hard to brush for two whole minutes, but I think I made it about 10 seconds. Gross.

3 things Day Four.

  1. Have I told you that we’re going to Anguilla in April? We are. It’s a reward from Andy’s work and I’m not super excited about it, which sounds hugely assholey, I know. Except, here is the thing, no matter how nice Anguilla is (it will take 10+ hours to get there) and no matter how nice the resort is, we are still with Andy’s work people and that’s not the same as a real vacation. Anyway, we’re doing it and I’m not excited about it and now you know that I’m an asshole. (If we were going to Hawaii, I would be singing another tune because I love Hawaii more than I love any other place.)

  2. Andy got me a beautiful watch for my birthday. If my two favorite watches had a baby, it would be this watch. I love it so much, I cannot stop looking at it, which is sort of hilarious because I haven’t used a watch to tell the time since I got an iPhone.

  3. Listen, I’ve decided that I’m going to do a project to that allows me to send you fun stuff in the mail. Send me your address by March 5th and before the end of the month, I’ll send you a small gift of some handmade notecards. My hope is that you’ll send the notecards to someone to help brighten their day. If you end up hoarding the notecards, that’s okay, too. Yay, let’s do this fun thing! My e mail is catiecake at yahoo dot com. Do we still have to do that? Spell it out? It’s been so long since I’ve blogged for real, I have no idea what the protocol for such a thing is anymore!

6 Things- Day Two

I forgot to post my list of three things yesterday, so you get 6 things today! So lucky!

  1. I drove to San Carlos yesterday to meet my friend, Traci. A couple weeks ago we painted some pottery and today we went to pick our pieces up. I painted a bowl and I’m pleased with how it turned out. It’s not a cheap endeavor, but I wouldn’t mind doing a few more bowls so I could have a whole set. We ate lunch at a casual French place and my food was so delicious! I had a quiche with a salad. Andy and I both really love quiche and yet I never make it. This is ridiculous and clearly I need to change things up.

2. Listen, I enjoy watching The Real Housewives. The California ones are my all time favorites, but I’m no stranger to New York and New Jersey. Right now, thought, it’s all about Beverly Hills and I cannot get enough of it. Do any of my friends watch? I seriously need to gossip about how much I love Lisa Rinna and how much I dislike Brandi.

3. Andy’s trip to NYC got cancelled. Or, rather, he cancelled it. I will admit only to you that I was looking forward to being by myself and eating dinner at a ridiculously early hour. Andy has been working very long hours lately and eating dinner at 8 pm or later sort of kills me dead. I know that I could eat dinner without him, but sharing an evening meal together is important, so I wait.

  1. When I was in high school, I put my bed against one wall, my stereo against another and then I pushed my dresser into the closet. Over several months, I covered the stereo wall with carefully curated images from fashion magazines. Although my mom always gave me a say in how my room looked, that was my first real taste of the power of creating a space for myself and how satisfying it can be. One of the most difficult things for me about marriage is not being able to do whatever I want in our home. I happily married a man who cares about design and who came to this relationship with a strong design aesthetic and while part of me wishes I could have an entirely pink house (I absolutely would and it would be perfect and all you people who think that much pink would be horrible would be proven wrong) I’m glad that Andy doesn’t just let me do whatever I want. I’m undoubtedly over-represented in our house, but Andy gets to keep every single cable that’s ever come into our possession, so there is a balance.

  2. I am seriously considering buying a denim vest and then decorating the back of it. THIS IS SERIOUS.

  3. I’ve started making envelops and liners from my fancy papers. Notecards are next and then we’ll have ourselves some gifts to give away!

3 Things.

Let’s make numbered lists this week, 3 things every day. Ready. Set. Go!

  1. I’ve been tidying up my office after several months of just using that room as a giant junk drawer. The nice thing about cleaning up the office is that it’s great when everything is put away and you can clearly see exactly what you have. The sort of horrifying thing about cleaning up the office is that you discover you should never ever buy another roll of wrapping paper tape and you might need an intervention because of your collection of fine and handmade papers.

  2. A couple weeks ago, we bought Andy some fancy type clothes (a sports coat, some nicer pants & shirts) because of a business trip he’s taking this week. I’ve been pushing for nicer clothes for years, but Andy successfully resisted it until now. The tech industry in the Bay Area is a casual affair and the better dressed a person is, it’s assumed that equals being further away from the technology. I mean, there was a woman Andy used to meet with who didn’t wear shoes to the meetings. NO SHOES! In the winter she wore socks because she’s not an animal, obviously.  I LOVE these dressier clothes and think that Andy looks so super handsome in them and I hope that he wears them on our super fancy dates. (We should probably start having super fancy dates.)

  3. Since I’ll be on my own for most of the week, I need to come up with some nice meals to make myself. I’m copying Andy with this. When he’s on his own, he prepares himself the nicest meals. I love that and it’s obviously a wonderful idea to treat yourself as much as possible, so I’ma do the same thing. I really like making my own salad dressings and I’ve had the idea for a few new ones I want to try, so I’ll do that this week. If the dressings are any good, I’ll post the recipes on Instagram. I think I should cook myself some manner of chicken, maybe a spicy shrimp dish and then I’ve been very hungry for lasagna, so I’ll do that and then we can have leftovers through the weekend. It’s a plan!